Archive for the ‘Carrots’ Category

It’s June! And this first day of June is many things!

1. The first day of June, which is exciting enough on its own
2. The first day of National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month
3. The first day of National Accordion Awareness Month (who knew we even had that? Consider yourself aware.)
3. Mah birthday!

I’m spending the day doing what any sensible girl would do. Reading on the balcony, possibly getting a pedicure, re-organizing my spices in tiny matching jars (!!!!!!), taking a stab at cooking crème brûlée, seeing a movie with friends… it’s a lovely day off! Full of little birthday presents to myself.

My birthday present to you, however, are these cookies.

Last year around this time, we talked about carrot cake. I was never a particularly big fan in the past, but I now frequently find myself craving those tender bites of spice-filled, textured cake topped with a healthy dollop of tangy icing. Plus, the carrots in my garden are now bursting from the soil (okay not bursting, they actually require rather a lot of coaxing to come out of the ground), and my experiment with a curious variety put carrot cake on the top of my list to make.

Aren’t these neat? I wish I had taken pictures of them straight out of the earth, their brilliant fuschia dims slightly within minutes: they are easily the most intriguing vegetable I’d planted so far. And what fun would it be to use purple carrots for carrot cake?

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Spring has most definitely sprung in North Carolina. And from the looks of Facebook statuses from friends across the country, it has sprung in many other places, too. It’s a time for swapping socks for flip flops, coats for t-shirts, and huddling in a blanket for lounging on the balcony.

But I also love the rainstorms. The thunderheads that roll in over the afternoon and burst into lighting and rain as night falls.

These nights call for cozy. These nights call for soup.

Soup is pretty easy cooking. Some of my meals literally seem to use every one of the dishes in my kitchen, but soup pot’s got my back. It’s totally cool with me spending the rest of the evening watching West Wing instead of cleaning up from dinner. The cutting board, on the other hand, gets quite a workout.

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I’m not exactly sure when I made the transition from thinking I hated carrot cake to eyeballing it with lust at bakeries. It seems to be one of those desserts with distinct factions: the lovers, the haters, and the folks who are mostly there for the cream cheese icing. I was somewhere in between those last two.

But whatever triggered this change in taste has permanently embedded carrot cake on my list of desserts to make whenever carrots find their way into my fridge.

For some reason I’ve always strongly associated carrots with fall harvests, not spring ones. Perhaps it’s because they are orange and fit oh so nicely into the autumn palette. I’ll be honest, there are lots of “when food grows” ideas that I’ve had to re-address after moving here. We arrived last August, and I kept waiting… and waiting… and waiting for carrots, storage onions, and potatoes to appear. A couple of vendors had carrots for about two weeks in early November, but that was it.

Recently, however, tables at the market have buckled under the weight of carrots so fresh the dirt still clings to them.

There are SO many recipes for carrot cake out there. Some with pineapple, some have apple sauce, some with a wide range of semi-exotic spices. I decided to try a family favorite from one of my dad’s cousins. It’s simple, but according to my mom it’s “soooooooo good!” Direct quote.

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